5 http snippets

Launching an SSL (HTTPS) Server in Node.js


var https      = require("https");
var fs         = require("fs");
var key_file   = "/path/to/file.pem";
var cert_file  = "/path/to/file.crt";
var passphrase = "this is optional";
var config     = {
  key: fs.readFileSync(key_file),
 cert: fs.readFileSync(cert_file)
if(passphrase) {
  config.passphrase = passphrase;



https      = require "https"
fs         = require "fs"
key_file   = "/path/to/file.pem"
cert_file  = "/path/to/file.crt"
passphrase = "this is optional"
config     = {
  key:  fs.readFileSync(key_file)
  cert: fs.readFileSync(cert_file)
config.passphrase = passphrase if passphrase?


Where /path/to/file.pem is the path to a file containing an RSA key, generated (for example) by:

openssl genrsa 1024 > /path/to/file.pem

and /path/to/file.crt is the path to a file containing an SSL certificate, generated (for example) by:

openssl req -new -key /path/to/file.pem -out csr.pem
openssl x509 -req -days 365 -in csr.pem -signkey /path/to/file.pem -out /path/to/file.crt
Published 13 Mar 2014


Backup or mirror a website using wget

To create a local mirror or backup of a website with wget, run:

wget -r -l 5 -k -w 1 --random-wait <URL>


  • -r (or --recursive) will cause wget to recursively download files
  • -l N (or --level=N) will limit recursion to at most N levels below the root document (defaults to 5, use inf for infinite recursion)
  • -k (or --convert-links) will cause wget to convert links in the downloaded documents so that the files can be viewed locally
  • -w (or --wait=N) will cause wget to wait N seconds between requests
  • --random-wait will cause wget to randomly vary the wait time to 0.5x to 1.5x the value specified by --wait

Some additional notes:

  • --mirror (or -m) can be used as a shortcut for -r -N -l inf --no-remove-listing which enables infinite recursion and preserves both the server timestamps and FTP directory listings.
  • -np (--no-parent) can be used to limit wget to files below a specific "directory" (path).
Published 10 Feb 2014


Pre-generate pages or load a web cache using wget

Many web frameworks and template engines will defer the generation the HTML version of a document the first time it is accessed. This can make the first hit on a given page significantly slower than subsequent hits.

You can use wget to pre-cache web pages using a command such as:

wget -r -l 3 -nd --delete-after <URL>


  • -r (or --recursive) will cause wget to recursively download files
  • -l N (or --level=N) will limit recursion to at most N levels below the root document (defaults to 5, use inf for infinite recursion)
  • -nd (or --no-directories) will prevent wget from creating local directories to match the server-side paths
  • --delete-after will cause wget to delete each file as soon as it is downloaded (so the command leaves no traces behind.)
Published 10 Feb 2014


Mapping port 80 to port 3000 using iptables

Port numbers less that 1024 are considered "privileged" ports, and you generally must be root to bind a listener to them.

Rather than running a network application as root, map the privileged port to a non-privileged one:

sudo iptables -A PREROUTING -t nat -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 80 -j REDIRECT --to-port 3000

Now requests to port 80 will be forwarded on to port 3000.

Published 8 Feb 2014


Launch an HTTP server serving the current directory using Python

The Python SimpleHTTPServer module makes it easy to launch a simple web server using a current working directory as the "docroot".

With Python 2:

python -m SimpleHTTPServer

or with Python 3:

python3 -m http.server

By default, each will bind to port 8080, hence http://localhost:8080/ will serve the top level of the working directory tree. Hit Ctrl-c to stop.

Both accept an optional port number:

python -m SimpleHTTPServer 3001


python3 -m http.server 3001

if you want to bind to something other than port 8080.

Published 20 Feb 2014
Tagged python, http, cli, one-liner, ops and tool.


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Copyright © 1999 - 2016 Rodney Waldhoff.